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Chipophone: the 8-Bit Organ

by Paul Strauss
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At first glance, this might just look like one of those organs you used to see in the shopping mall when you were a kid. But under the hood of this bit of musical nostalgia is the ultimate chiptune machine.

chipophone_8_bit_synthesizer

Created by Linus Akesson, the Chipophone has the looks of an old organ, but the brains needed to crank out awesome 8-bit sounds for live chiptune performances. Linus ripped out all of the original tone-generators and wired up keys via a bunch of 74HC165 chips, daisy-chained together to an Atmega88 controller chip. He also wired up the knob potentiometers to the microcontroller’s analog inputs.

chipophone_insides

In turn, the microcontroller generates MIDI signals which are sent to another Atmega88 chip which produces 8-bit sounds. Here’s Linus showing off his wondrous musical creation:

What chiptune video would be complete without a performance of the Super Mario Bros. theme?

[via Synthopia]

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